About this Resource
What’s in a proposal?
Who are you writing your proposal for?
Why the criteria for evaluating your proposal matter so much
Evidence of success – a funder’s perspective
Demonstrating how your proposal meets the assessment criteria
Ensuring that your submitted proposal will get as far as the review process
Developing an overall argument to convince the assessors and reviewers
Warranting the conclusion of your overall argument
Telling a convincing story
Sources of information to consult in preparing a research proposal for the ESRC
Checking where to include components of your overall argument in any proposal
A research proposal logic checksheet
Illustration: a completed logic checksheet for a successful ESRC research proposal
Ensuring that assessors and reviewers get your message
Getting your message across
Subjecting your draft proposal to multiple checks
Final tip – build all the secrets of success into your habitual practice
Final tip – build all the secrets of success into your habitual practice 
Networked Cranfield > AIM Research > Key Topics > Developing proposals > Final tip – build all the secrets of success into your habitual practice

Do all these things, and you will have maximised your chances of getting your research proposal funded.

1.      Give enough time to your writing effort so that you fully understand what information is required and ensure you provide it

2.      Write for your audience, not for yourself

3.      Seek to learn from all the funding agency guidance you can get

4.      Don’t just ensure your proposal meets the assessment criteria, demonstrate it!

5.      Obey the rules (of the funding agency and your own institution)

6.      Develop a complete overall argument whose conclusion about outputs and impacts is warranted by the evidence provided by everything else in your proposal

7.      Attend to the structure, focus and linkage of your overall argument

8.      Develop the logic of your overall argument throughout all parts of your proposal, and make the linkages explicit 

9.      Think like a journalist – conclusion first, then warranting

10.   Check the final draft of your proposal yourself and get others to check it for you

 Good luck!